Stocks slammed as Dow erases 2012 gains

@CNNMoneyInvest June 1, 2012: 7:10 PM ET
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NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Wall Street suffered its bloodiest day of the year Friday as U.S. stocks sank more than 2% following an ugly jobs report. The Dow erased all its gains for the year, and the S&P 500 and Nasdaq moved into correction territory, down more than 10% from the year's highs.

The sell-off was broad, with all 30 Dow components ending in the red, and 97% of the S&P 500 closing lower.

As jittery investors fled stocks, they plowed into the safety of U.S. government debt, pushing the yields on the 10-year Treasury note and the 30-year Treasury bond to fresh record lows.

The Dow Jones industrial average (INDU) plunged 275 points, or 2.2%, the biggest one-day drop since November. The blue-chip index gave up all its gains for the year, and is now 99 points below where it finished 2011. The S&P 500 (SPX) lost 32 points, or 2.5%, and the Nasdaq (COMP) dropped 80 points, or 2.8%.

The S&P 500 and Nasdaq are now down more than 10% from their highs of the year, which means they are officially in what investors call a correction.

"The U.S. employment report was simply terrible," said Marc Chandler, global head of currency strategy at Brown Brothers Harriman.

The May jobs report showed only 69,000 jobs were added to payrolls, less than half the 150,000 jobs forecast by economists surveyed by CNNMoney. The unemployment rate ticked higher for the first time in a year, rising to 8.2%.

The CNNMoney Fear and Greed index showed investor confidence sliding even farther into "extreme fear" territory on the news.

"The move in bond markets is even more telling," said Joe Saluzzi, co-head of equity trading at Themis Trading. "A 1.5% 10-year yield? That's fear."

Bond yields have been in record low territory for the past couple of weeks, as fears of Europe's escalating debt crisis have been building. A report on Friday showed the eurozone unemployment rate at a record high of 11%. (Unemployment rate - explain it to me)

Concerns about slowing growth in emerging markets, including China and India, have also put investors on edge. Two reports out of China Friday morning showed that the manufacturing sector contracted more than expected in May, fueling investors' concerns that the country may be headed for a hard landing.

As global economic growth has slowed in the last year, exports to Europe -- China's largest foreign market -- have taken a hit as the debt-ridden region teeters on the brink of recession.

"We've got concerns about Europe, China, India, the United States -- this is a global problem," said Saluzzi. "Investors have no place to hide."

Given the growing fears, and fragile market and economic environment, Saluzzi said central banks around the world -- particularly the European Central Bank and the Federal Reserve -- will likely come out with plans to help stimulate the global economy.

Speculation that the Fed will launch a third round of bond buying, or QE3, which is meant to keep long-term interest rates low, has been growing, but Saluzzi is not convinced that it's the right solution.

"Interest rates are already low, and that hasn't worked," he said. "I'm sure the Fed will try something, because that's what it does, but it needs to attack from a different angle."

U.S. stocks finished in the red Thursday, ending a difficult month on a weak note. The Dow and S&P 500 dropped more than 6% in May, while the Nasdaq shed more than 7%.

Economy: Personal income and personal spending for April increased 0.2%. Analysts had expected the figure to increase by 0.3%.

The May installment of the ISM Manufacturing Index showed that U.S. manufacturing growth slowed in May. The index fell to 54.5, down from 54.8 last month and below expectations of 54. Any reading above 50 indicates growth in the sector.

April construction spending rose by 0.3%, but that was below forecasts for a 0.5% rise.

Companies: Shares of Facebook (FB) hit a fresh low of $26.83 Thursday before bouncing back, ending the day up 5% at $29.60. The stock edged higher Friday, closing up 0.1%.

Shares of food producer Sara Lee (SLE, Fortune 500) slipped after the company said it was spinning off its international coffee and tea business, which will pay a special dividend to existing Sara Lee shareholders. Sara Lee also announced a 1-for-5 reverse stock split.

BP (BP) said it was considering selling its 50% stake in TNK-BP, a Russian oil joint venture, after it received an unsolicited bid for the holding. Shares of BP gained ground.

Groupon (GRPN) shares fell. The online discount service, which has been dogged with questions about its accounting practices since its initial public offering in November, ends its lock-up period Friday, meaning that insiders who own shares will be able to sell them.

The nation's Big Three automakers -- General Motors (GM, Fortune 500), Ford Motor (F, Fortune 500) and Chrysler -- all reported a jump in car sales in May, but the results were less than expected by some analysts -- another sign that the U.S. economy, while growing, remains weaker than hoped.

World markets: European stocks closed deep in the red. Britain's FTSE 100 (UKX) dropped 0.9%, while the DAX (DAX) in Germany sank 3.2% and France's CAC 40 (CAC40) tumbled 2.5%.

Asian markets ended mixed. The Shanghai Composite (SHCOMP) closed slightly above breakeven, while the Hang Seng (HSI) in Hong Kong slid 0.4% and Japan's Nikkei (N225) fell 1.2%.

Currencies and commodities: The dollar rose against the British pound, but fell versus the euro and the Japanese yen.

Oil for July delivery slid $3.30, or 3.8%, to settle at $83.23 a barrel.

Gold futures for August delivery rose $57.90 to settle at $1,622.10 an ounce.  To top of page

Index Last Change % Change
Dow 17,055.87 -116.81 -0.68%
Nasdaq 4,508.69 -19.00 -0.42%
S&P 500 1,982.77 -11.52 -0.58%
Treasuries 2.54 -0.03 -1.21%
Data as of 9:16pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
Bank of America Corp... 17.05 0.02 0.12%
Yahoo! Inc 39.05 0.40 1.03%
Apple Inc 102.64 1.58 1.56%
Facebook Inc 78.29 1.49 1.94%
Oracle Corp 38.83 -0.75 -1.89%
Data as of 4:01pm ET
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